WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - President Biden has proposed a bill that will increase the Federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15, over a 4 year period.
However local Wichita Falls business owners say while they want the best for their employees, they are concerned that now is the right time or the right way to increase the minimum wages.
“My fear with it is having to raise our costs for our customers having to lay our employees off which of course we don’t want to do,” said Jessica Edwards, Wichita Falls entrepreneur.
Edwards, who ones four businesses in Wichita Falls, says if the bill is passed that would mean she would have to double the wages of 30 employees, something she says she is not prepared to do.
“Most retail markup is one hundred percent so for every dollar I make I’m spending fifty cents of it giving it back out to employees there’s almost no point of being in business because you have to pay your rent you have bills,” said Edwards.
According to America’s Small Business Development Center at Midwestern State University if the U.S. Senate does vote on the bill, changes won’t happen overnight.
“Minimum wage would immediately go to nine dollars and fifty cents and hour but over the next four years it would increase a dollar twenty seven a year,” said Vanda Cullar, Regional Director Wichita Falls SBDC MSU Texas.
However Cullar says small business owners do have valid reasons to be concerned about the future of their businesses.
“Starbucks Costco a lot of these companies have already started paying more than minimum for a small business owner who already has a very small margin for that net profit line something has to change,” said Cullar.
Edwards says she has begun a tuition reimbursement and employee referral programs to keep her team happy and her businesses. strong.
“Are we going to put some restrictions around that where maybe it doesn’t make every small business go out of business is there maybe a better way to do that,” said Edwards.